Early Childhood Education
Professionals in this field work with children of different age groups, usually from birth to age 8 (third grade). Early childhood educators enjoy teaching and do so with various instructional methods. They are flexible and enjoy an autonomous work environment. Above all, professionals in the field of early childhood education must have a true love for young people.
To succeed in an early childhood education career, candidates need more than a degree. Close interaction with children demands patience and a strong, sincere desire to help all children learn. Childhood education degrees are particularly valuable to child-care providers, teachers, teaching assistants and school administrators.
Child Care workers can find employment in daycare centers, community programs and nonprofit organizations. These workers help children learn and understand social fundamentals such as sharing, cleaning up toys and playing nicely with others. They can work with a specific age group or with special-needs students.
Preschool teachers prepare young children for public school by introducing fundamentals such as counting, letter identification, shapes and colors. Teachers usually hold an associate degree or bachelor's degree in early childhood education.
Kindergarten assistant teachers introduce advanced topics such as science, math, language and social studies. In most cases, an assistant teacher is required to hold an associate degree. While the teacher leads the activities, an assistant helps the children participate and complete projects and supervises field trips, activities and recess.
Public school teachers usually teach a specific subject or age group in the lower grades. Some specialize in special education work, while others work with the general student body. Most states require that public school teachers possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree and state certificate.
To learn more, please visit Early Childhood Education program overview video.